Ed Byrne. Copyright: Idil Sukan


  • Radio comedy drama
  • BBC Radio 4
  • 2019
  • 1 episode (1 series)

Adaptation of the novel by Spike Milligan, satirising the division of Ireland. Also features Ed Byrne, Barry Cryer, Pauline McLynn, Kate Harbour, Jane Milligan and more.

Ed Byrne. Copyright: Idil Sukan

Key details

Comedy Drama
BBC Radio 4
Ed Byrne, Barry Cryer, Pauline McLynn, Kate Harbour, Jane Milligan, Wilf Scolding, Colm Gleeson, Tom Alexander and David Shaw-Parker
Spike Milligan and Ian Billings
Dirk Maggs
David Morley

A mad-cap satire on the division of Ireland, by the godfather of British comedy, Spike Milligan.

Starring Ed Byrne, Pauline McLynn, Kate Harbour, Jane Milligan and featuring Barry Cryer as The Author. Adapted from Spike Milligan's classic comic novel, by Ian Billings.

Published in 1963, Puckoon became a publishing phenomenon, has never been out of print and has sold more than six million copies. It's a satire on the futility of national borders and inadequacy of bureaucrats, filled with wonderful one-liners and madcap scenes which fall into one another, and remind us of the author's great days writing The Goons.

In 1924, the Boundary Commission is tasked with creating the new official division between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic. Through incompetence, dereliction of duty and sheer perversity, the border ends up running through the middle of the small town of Puckoon.

Houses are divided from outhouses, husbands separated from wives, bars are cut off from their patrons, churches sundered from graveyards. And in the middle of it all is poor Dan Milligan, our feckless protagonist (played by Ed Byrne), who is taunted and manipulated by everyone to try and make some sense of this mess.

Additional details


Website links

Broadcast details

First broadcast
Saturday 28th December 2019 at 2:30pm on BBC Radio 4
Episode length
1 hour

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